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Exchange Server Backup and Repair

Posted on 2009-05-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Windows 2003 R2 running MS Exchange 6

Two questions really:

1.)  What is typically backed up on MS Exchange and how do most folk do it?

2.)  Our Exchange DB has become inconsistent and I need a tool to repair it but I don't want to take the DB offline to use ESEUTIL.  What can I use to stabilize the database?
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Question by:Oiles
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Expert Comment

by:Andres Perales
ID: 24421934
If you can create a new information store, then you can move your mailboxes to that new store.
That should put you in a clean DB.
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Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 24422065
Is the DB up (mounted\running) and is the Exchange enterprise version ?
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Author Comment

by:Oiles
ID: 24422692
DB is up and running.  To move the mailboxes,  I would assume that the store would need to be dismounted (undesirable).   Version: 6.5.7638.1 (from Exchange System Manager).  I think I would be leary of setting up a new Exchange instance, migrating all mailboxes, then running diagnostics on that DB and then replacing the old one.  Seems like a lot of work.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 24422751
Is the Exchange Standard or Enterprise ?
For moving mailboxes the DB wont be dismounted anytime.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 24422758
It would require some time but not a lot of hard work and a clean DB in new place.
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Author Comment

by:Oiles
ID: 24423216
We are running Exchange Standard.  Ok, I'm asking for a lot, but you wouldn't happen to have a link to instructions on how to migrate mailboxes and a new Exchange Store would you?
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 24423278
In Standard we can have only one Mailbox and PF store so we cant have anyother store. But with Exchange 2003 you can use RSG.
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Author Comment

by:Oiles
ID: 24423561
Is using a recovery storage group your recommendation?  To create  one and then migrate it into production as a clean store?
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by:Mestha
ID: 24424383
An RSG isn't going to help here, because that is for recovery only, used with a backup.
Your only option to minimise downtime is going to be to build another server with Exchange 2003 on it, then use move mailbox wizard to move all the mailboxes to it, drop the original and then recreate it and move everything back. That is fail safe and the downtime window is small.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:Oiles
ID: 24425496
This sounds like a plan.  Last question:  Once I've recreated the store on another server and migrated the users to it, I would assume I just unmount Store 1, move the new store over and mount it.  Sound about right?  

I realize there is probably more to it as I will be using a book/technet as a guide, but is this essentially correct?
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by:Mestha
ID: 24425527
You drop the store within ESM, if there is a problem it will stop you from doing that.
Then you can recreate a new store. At that point I would suggest that you restart the information service so that the system mailboxes are recreated. Then move everything back.

If you can do it with no users around, so on a Saturday or something, then you shouldn't have any problems with Outlook redirecting. If you must do it with users around then the old server will need to alive long enough for Outlook to redirect on its own.

Remember that the temp system must be removed correctly, in just the same way as a full server. You cannot cut corners just because it is a temp system.

Simon.
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Manpreet SIngh Khatra earned 100 total points
ID: 24428957
RSG can be used in this scenario as you can createa  RSG then dismount the production and mount the original databaase in RSG with the same that this DB can be overwritten by a restore and mounting the production with a blank and then Merge. This would not take the time of building a new server getting everything over and back or complete migration.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mestha
Mestha earned 100 total points
ID: 24429704
If the database is inconsistent, there is no guarantee that it will mount again correctly. As the database is currently mounted it is far safer to move mailbox to another server without touching the existing database.
So while an RSG may save sometime, it is not without its risk, particularly when a corrupt database is involved.

Simon.
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by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 24448214
Any updates ?
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